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Book Summaries

  • Crestmore: The Lost Elmkey

    An occupied nation on the brink of rebellion. A mysterious president with the power to stop them.

    Jacob Crestmore is a troubled young hunter struggling to survive on the tough streets of the Capital.

    Hope for a better tomorrow - Impossible.

    Until Jacob finds a link to the Lost Elmkey; an ancient artefact with the power to awaken elemental magic and liberate a nation. Determined to avoid an uprising, the mysterious president dispatches a special agent, Gunnar Veto to hunt Jacob down.

    But Veto has a dangero more

  • Talon, Windsong

    More thrilling adventures with Matica and Talon.

    The poachers are gone, and the birds are safe. Now Matica is becoming anxious thinking of the upcoming holiday to Australia - she does not want to go or leave her birds. But Talon, understanding her misery, helps to ease her mind.

    With distractions all sides, Matica soon finds herself involved in current happenings - the letting go of Elcano's ashes from the top of the Andes, and near tragedy of Crayn falling while climbing up the mountain. The condors play a vital role in saving the day.

    Talon shows Matica the puma and her cubs. But things go wrong when the female puma smells them and attacks. will they escape the big cat? more

  • Talon, Connected

    It is war - the poachers are back and want Talon. Revenge is in the air.

    They are doing everything in their power to capture him, and if they can't get him alive, will kill him. Determined to get him at all costs the poachers run up against the might and will of Tamo, Tima and Talon.

    With the help of Tamo and Tima, Talon and Matica, they do the impossible knowing they have to capture and stop the poachers or they will be back.

    Between the poachers shooting at the condors, the crows more

  • Talon, Connected

    Her father recovered slowly as her 11th birthday is coming up. Then the things she is about to encounter proves she is very brave.

    Events take a sudden turn when she is invited to see Elcano, the very old and frail father of the village elder Pajaro. Not once, but three times he summons her. She is afraid of him, but he fascinates her. He calls her ‘his daughter he never had.’

    Why? The amazing things he is about to tell her could be life-changing, things she had never thought about. And so, she nearly jumps out of her skin at what she is told. ‘Who me?’ she questions herself. ‘Really me?’

    Will Matica be able to cope with these life-changing disclosures?

    During all this, the poachers are back, looking for eggs and birds – and more

  • Talon, flight for life

    Will they be safe as they travel? What about the dangerous animals they could encounter? Will Matica see her condors on her trip?

    It's amazing how you are drawn into the beauty and dangers of the rain forest, as Matica and her father travel to the city and villages in Peru.

    You may be awed by the enchanting plants and creature inhabitants, and fearfully apprehensive of the poisonous insects and treacherous things lurking in the forest and the waters!

    The discovery of Matica's special bond with her Condors puts them all in further jeopardy, along with her father being bitten by a poisonous spider.

    Journey with Matica in this third book in the TALON series. Be with her through ad more

  • Talon, on the wing

    A lovely, magical fantasy

    Talon, on the Wing is the second book of the Talon series, and it is also the place where an incredible thing happens: the predicament of the main character—her fate to remain small in size—turns out to be her most valuable gift, as it allows her to soar on the wings of her beloved Talon, up and away into exciting adventures.

    What challenged Matica has dreamed ever since she first befriended the condors is actually happening.

    And now the adventures begin.

    Finally accepting Matica into their community because of an incredible event, the people from the village love seeing her with Talon and demand she tell them about her adventures with the condors.

    Matica is now happy to be small because she can do what she has always dreamed of – fly. She is accepted and is loved, and because she is so small can have incredible adventures with her beloved Talon.

    In the meantime, her friendship with Amos continues to grow more

  • Talon, come fly with me

    by Maxwell Kobina Acquah

    These book series are not only worth reading to only some limited age group but to all levels of age groups and enables the individual to understand received

    a. The meaning of life

    b. The beauty of creation

    c. The reality of living in the natural environment

    d. The benefits of kindness and obeying basic rules

    e. How to reason well and find answers to problems

    f. Parenting and parenthood

    g. Psychological and physiological develop more

  • Synopsis:- Zero - Earth (Clifford Barker)

    At the end of another successful mission in Munich, Germany, Zero Senses he’s been followed again. Zero loses the tail, and decides to check in with the Human Network. Quinn has Zero in his sights. Zero is being tailed by the CIA for protection; not that he needs any, but Nixon feels it prudent. Zero isn’t counting on a second tail but senses a sinister presence. Quinn aborts his attack. Zero evades his CIA tail, making his way back to Central.

    Whilst travelling Zero dreams of the Devine, and their struggle to keep their home world and eventual exodus, fleeing the Khai-mah.

    Once back on board Central, a downed leviathan remnant from the Devine exodus, more is learned about what Zero was discussing in the phone booth in Munich. Their plan to make more super soldiers to assist in the coming battle and assist the Human Network is failing. Men are dying instead of being upgraded. To date Zero is the only person to be successfully upgraded by the Devine caretaker clones. During a discussion Zero suggests something radical.

    Zero then returns to visit his girlfriend Joan who is heavily pregnant. By the end of this visit, Wraith has been born. We also meet Khaalida for the first time in her German lair. Quinn's mother gives him a dressing down for the missed chance to kill Zero in Munich. Then another opportunity presents itself ...

    Zero begins his next mission with Geyldian, a half alien half human hybrid, whom Zero rescued from a firing squad at the end of WW2. The human team Zero is sent to infiltrate greets him with hostility and resentment. Zero gets his way as usual, laying the seeds which will enable the Humans to achieve their goal, but only as fast as he dictates. This gives the clones a chance to investigate. After the first part of his mission, Zero travels to Washington to tear a strip off Nixon. Zero then travels to visit Joan before phase 2 of his mission begins.

    The Clones are obviously worried about Zero’s loyalties once they learn about Wraith, but considering their plan, Wraith will be useful in the future. Geyldian travels to Sheffield surprising Zero and Joan. Tense at first, the situation is quickly diffused by Joan. Geyldian informs Zero that as hard as he tried to hide his new family he had known about Joan the moment Zero fell for her. This was the hive in action …

    In a crisis of conscience, Zero confides his many talents and abilities to Billy, his Chauffeur. Billy questions what this all means for Zero and Joan in the future. Given his recent difficulties as a clone amongst humans, and unsure where he fits in the world, Geyldian decides to adopt a child of his own from Morocco. Surrayah is special, being born at the same second of the same day as Wraith, as such he is convinced the pair will share a strong connection mentally.

    Phase 2 of Zero's mission begins and Quinn attacks, changing the game. Geyldian vows to bring Quinn before his Prime for punishment. Quinn makes his escape, near death. In his efforts to save Zero, Leren invents several new protocols.

    Analysis of Zero's mission begins, leading to much speculation from the clones. Geyldian continues to sniff out evidence which can lead him to Zero’s attacker, who makes good his escape. Khaalida decides her need for retribution is not sated yet and decides that she will eliminate Joan and her baby.

    The reader is finally introduced to the Thrall. These are the little grey aliens with almond shaped eyes flying around in saucers called Caddy. Being a failed Caretaker clone, they are not good for much except maintenance duties and sample collection topside. They are weaklings by an error in design, this means they can die in the most ridiculous situation.

    Zero is finally able to get back among the clones and begin business once more, though on much different terms than before. Leren is staggered to find, and unable to explain why or even how, Zero is managing to still develop his new body.

    More information is given about Khaalida.

    After six long years Geyldian gets a break hunting for Quinn and travels immediately to Yuxi in China. Geyldian apprehends Quinn and returns him to Mona, th more

  • The book of a corporate yogi

    Yogic practices are like a seatbelt in a car. When we drive a car at high speed, there may be sudden brakes, speed bumps, a rough, slippery surface and low visibility to navigate. These situations can make the ride difficult and stressful. A seatbelt makes sure that no matter what we and our car go through, it tries to protect us by providing additional safety. Yogic practices are like additional safety to protect us from stress, tension and the ups and downs of our day-to-day life.

    Medical science identifies smoking, alcohol, an unhealthy diet, the use of drugs, a lack of sleep and physical inactivity as unhealthy behaviours. Most people have at least one or more of these unhealthy behaviours, which also contributes to the deterioration of their mental health. A simple routine of yoga, breathing and meditation can address these unhealthy hab more

  • Voyage of the Dawn Treader

    In the adventurous third installment of C.S. Lewis' Narnia tales, the two younger Pevensie children return to Narnia with their unwilling cousin Eustace (should have been named "Useless") and travel with the now adult King Caspian on a high sea adventure. The story begins with the two younger Pevensie children, Lucy and Edmund, being sent into a sort of exile to their cousin's house for the summer. Eustace is a tiresome boy more interested in grain elevators and pictures of fat chinese children than in adventure. But when he catches his cousins looking at a picture of a "Narnian" ship and begins to tease them, he gets more than he bargains for when the picture becomes real and the three children find themselves adrift on a Narnian Sea. Rescued by the crew of the Dawn Treader, Lucy and Edmund are overjoyed to find that their friend King Caspian is on board and they enthusiastically join his search for seven missing lords who had left Narnia years earlier to explore the seas. As the children have many adventures exploring the uncharted islands they are captured by slave traders, overcome a so called evil magician, repel the attack of a sea monster and survive a terrible storm. By the end of the voyage, they have found all of the missing Lords and Eustace has had a new birth.

    Like all the Narnia stories, this one also contains an allegorical message. In one of the strongest allegorical points in the series, Eustace is transformed into a dragon after sleeping a a dragon cave with greedy thoughts in his head. As a dragon, Eustace gets to see his shipmates in a new light. He has been a constant problem on board ship with his complaining and whining as well as his refusal to help with the work on board or give Caspian the obedience he deserves as king. Now as his shipmates first figure out Eustace's plight and try to help him, he has a change of heart. In a symbolic moment, Aslan, the Great Lion(who represents Christ in the s more

  • The Feminine Mystique

    The Feminine Mystique is a 1963 book written by Betty Friedan which attacked the popular notion that women of that time could only find fulfillment through childbearing and homemaking. According to The New York Times obituary of Friedan in 2006, it “ignited the contemporary women's movement in 1963 and as a result permanently transformed the social fabric of the United States and countries around the world” and “is widely regarded as one of the most influential nonfiction books of the 20th century.”

    The Feminine Mystique came about after Friedan sent a questionnaire to other women in her 1942 Smith College graduating class. Most women in her class indicated a general unease with their lives. Through her findings, Friedan hypothesized that women are victims of a false belief system that requires them to find identity and meaning in their lives through their husbands and children. Such a system causes women to completely lose their identity in that of their family. more

  • Super Crunchers

    Intuition in business is great but our decision-making can be enhanced by analyzing information. Super Crunchers is one of those books that exposes how technology and data can and does affect your day-to-day.

    Based on computer algorithms, Netflix recommends us movies and eHarmony recommends a mate. All of this is based on custom formulas and using a mathematical tool called regression to make predictions. Capital One uses regression to determine what interest rate might tempt you into accepting an offer. The Internet radio service Pandora brings in musicians to analyze music so that when you pick a favorite artist on their site, they can play tunes that match your taste.

    One tool Ayres talks about is randomization. The medical community uses randomization extensively in the testing of new pharmaceuticals. Larry Katz, a former chief economist for the Labor Department, found that by providing job search assistance to the out-of-work, people found jobs faster and the federal government could reduce payment of unemployment benefits by two billion dollars. The same type of number crunching can even be used to prove if basketball players are shaving points at the end of game to cause their team not to cover a point spread.

    One of the more unusual and innovative ways computer number-crunching has been put to use comes out of Hollywood. Dick Copaken, formerly a successful Washington lawyer, set his sights on the movie industry. In particular, he and his mysterious team at Epagogix study the effect a script has on box office returns. The folks at Epagogix have come up with a number of components in a script that they have "weighted" and applied certain dollar amounts to. The formula is secret, but unbelievably accurate, and several studios are quietly using their services.

    Not everyone is jumping on board though. Ayres more

  • Stardust

    Gribbin discusses the idea that all of our known universe - everything we have ever been told of, observed directly, or postulated to be, has as a common ancestor the tiny remnants of stars which have lived their lives and exploded. The resulting stardust is responsible for the formation of heavier elements, for the development of molecules, the accretion of particles to form the asteroids, planets, stars, solar systems, galaxies...

    Even the emergence of life must ultimately have come from this stardust, with the available elements coming together in the appropriate harsh environments to form increasingly complex molecules. We do not know how life was awoken from this fundamentally dead matter, but discussion of various theories and the application of statistical probabilities provides some interesting suggestions as to how it might have all come about.

    Gribbin t more

  • Speak

    In the summer before her freshman year of high school, Melinda Sordino was physically assualted at a party by a popular senior, Andy Evans. Melinda calls the police and they break up the party. When those attended the party find out that it was Melinda who called the police, even her closest friends refuse to speak to her and Melinda begins her freshman year as an outcast, friendless except for a new student, Heather, who Melinda refers to throughout the first part of the novel as 'Heather from Ohio'. Heather constantly asks Melinda for help on things but never defends Melinda from a clique she wants to join called "The Marthas". Heather soon dumps Melinda the clique. Throughout the year, Melinda fails classes and skips school and classes as a result of the depression from her self-blame. All of her teachers dislike her, except Melinda's art teacher, Mr. Freeman, who asks his students to focus on one randomly chosen topic and make it "say something" by the end of the year. Melinda is assigned the subject "tree." She isn't too thrilled and thinks it will be easy, but later finds a challenge in her project.

    Over the course of the year, Melinda works to regain some confidence and regain her former friendships. The development of her tree artwork mirrors her gradual regrowth. When one of her former friends, Rachel, begins dating Andy Evans, Melinda works up the courage to begin telling her story, if only in fragments. At the close of the novel, Andy confronts her, telling her that she lied about the assault, he had not hurt her and that she asked for it. He suggests that jealousy of his relationship with Rachel was her motivation for "lying" about the rape and attempts to assault her again. She breaks a mirror and holds a shard of glass up to his neck. "I SAID NO!" she yells. This is a major turning point for her, as one of the issues factoring into her silence more

  • My Name is Asher Lev

    My Name is Asher Lev is the story of cultural conflict as well as a story of the forces that threaten to tear a family apart. Asher Lev first shows artistic genius as a young child. In many families his gift would be looked upon as just that, a great gift. However Asher's family are members of a religious Jewish sect, the Ladover Hasids, and they believe art is a waste of time and that many artistic works are an abomination to God. However, Asher cannot give up his gift. He is not whole without it but his gift threatens to tear his family apart. His father worse for the Rebbe, the leader of the Ladovers, and travels to Europe frequently after World War II, setting up yeshivas, schools, for Jewish youth. He cannot understand why his son seemingly wants to squander his talents serving the world rather than God. He sees Asher as selfish and heretical to his faith. Asher's mother stands between them always being twisted one way of the other.

    Fortunately for Asher, the Rebbe seems to be a reasonable and wise man. He makes sure that Asher gets the artistic education he needs, despite his father's disapproval. He sends the boy to a renowned artist, Jacob Kahn. Kahn is also Jewish, but not an observant Jew according to Ladover tradition. Under Kahn's influence Asher develops into a truly great artist. The discord in his family disturbs Asher so much that he needs to work it out on canvass. He struggles as he tries to show the agony that the disagreement between his father and himself has caused his mother. He tries and tries to show how she is stretched between her son and her husband. Finally he real more

  • Oryx and Crake

    Oryx and Crake is about a time in the future. It centers in on Snowman, whose real name is Jimmy. This Snowman character finds himself in a world where only he and a handful of other "people" live in. These people were created by Crake, the mastermind behind all that's happened, including behind the end of humankind with the exception of Snowman and the "people".

    The character Oryx is a woman who Snowman, or Jimmy, had a relationship with. Throughout the book you learn how she ends up dying. She and Snowman loved each other very much. Still, she had some confusing feelings towards Crake.

    Crake doesn't get to live either. He dies along with Oryx.

    Snowman must learn to live with these "people" that were created to be perfect and flawless. They are harmless and innocent, victims of Crake's notorius mind.

    Snowman believes no one is out there, no true human is out there but himself. He sometimes tries to kid himself that there is someone out there like him but he know for sure it is just not possible.

    Yet, at the very end of the book, he is told by the "people" that they saw others more

  • The Paradox of Choice

    Barry Schwartz – Paradox of Choice

    Barry Schwartz, a Swarthmore College professor, citing research results from psychologists, economists, market researchers and decision scientists makes five counter-intuitive arguments in this book, The Paradox of Choice: Why Less is More. We would be better off if we:

    1. Voluntarily constrained our freedom of choice.
    2. Sought "good enough" instead of "the best."
    3. Lowered our expectations about decision's results.
    4. Made nonreversible decisions.
    5. Paid less attention to what others around us do.
    Schwartz notes we are constantly being asked to make choices, even about the simplest things. This forces us to "invest time, energy, and no small amount of self-doubt, and dread." There comes a point, he contends, at which choice becomes debilitating rather than liberating. Too much of a good thing becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being, he states.

    In the final chapter , Schwartz offers an 11-step program for reducing choice's "tyranny." more

    1. Much ado about nothing

      Written by William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy. Set during Medieval times, it is also, essentially, a love story. Young Count Claudio has returned from war, and meets the lovely Hero, daughter of the man Claudio is staying with. He asks her to marry him, and she consents. But the night before the wedding, Claudio believes he sees Hero cheating on him, and he humiliates her at the altar. Her father, after much thought, tells Claudio that she has died from grief, a few days later.

      Meanwhile, Count Benedick has also returned from the war, and openly sparrs with Beatrice, the cousin of Hero. They are suited to one another, but neither will admit it, and both swear to never marry. Hero's father, among others, plots to get the two together. To achieve this, he has the close friends of the two talk to one another openly about how one desperately loves the other, and thus fooling them into admitting their feelings to themselves.

      In the end of the story, Claudio is told he must more

    2. Monkeyluv: And Other Essays on Our Lives as Animals

      Monkeluv: And Other Essays on Our Lives as Animals is a witty, insightful collection of essays by Robert M. Sapolsky, professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University. The essays originally appeared as articles in journals such as Natural History, Scientific American, and Discover.

      If you are curious about behavioral biology, that is, why we behave as we do, Sapolsky postulates some compelling answers. In the age of the human genome project, many people seem to believe that genetics are the be-all-end-all explanation for behavior. While Sapolsky acknowledges the role of genes, he urges that we also consider other equally influential factors. Among the topics he addresses are:

      • How small differences in our environment affect behavior
      • Why we are reluctant to try new things as we age
      • How ecology shapes theology
      • How stress affects our brains.
      For example, in his essay "Genetic Hyping," Sapolsky argues:

      "Genes, of course, have plenty to do with behavior. Genes determine your intelligence, and your personality, and certain genetic profiles cause criminality, alcoholism, and a proclivity for misplacing car keys...Genes influence behavior, environment influences behavior, and genes and environment interact" (30). more

    3. The Miracle Worker

      The Miracle Worker is a cycle of 20th century dramatic works derived from Helen Keller's autobiography The Story of My Life. Each of the various dramas describe the relationship between Keller — a deafblind and initially almost feral child — and Anne Sullivan, the teacher who introduced her to education, activism, and international celebrity.

      Its first realization was a 1957 Playhouse 90 broadcast written by William Gibson and starring Teresa Wright as Annie and Patricia McCormack as Helen. Gibson adapted his teleplay for a 1959 Broadway production with Anne Bancroft as Annie and Patty Duke, who reprised their roles for the 1962 feature film.

      The Miracle Worker was remade for television in 1979, with Patty Duke as Annie Sullivan, Melissa Gilbert as Helen, and Diana Muldaur and Charles Siebert in supporting rol more

    4. Letter to a Christian Nation

      Letter to a Christian Nation is a non-fiction book by Sam Harris, written in response to feedback he received following the publication of his first book The End of Faith. The book is written in the form of an open letter to a Christian. Harris states that his aim is "to demolish the intellectual and moral pretensions of Christianity in i more

    5. The Last Days of Socrates

      The Last Days of Socrates is a series of four dialogues by Plato which describe the trial and death of Socrates @ 403 B.C. The trial of Socrates for heresy and the corruption of youth gives Plato the opportunity to develop and present his own philosophy of the responsibility of the individual for his actions and their effect on their community as well as his belief in the immortality of the soul.

      The Dialogues begin with the Euthyphro which takes place just before Socrate's trial is about to begin. Euthyphro has accused his father of the murder of a servant. The servant had attacked and killed another servant. The circumstances of this death lead Socrates and Euthyphro to debate the nature of holiness. The debate gives the reader a vivid demonstation of Socrates' use of questioning to poke holes in the assertions of others. The reader aslo gets a sense of Socrates' arrogance of manner that makes him enemies.

      In The Apology, Plato uses his dialogues to tell the story of the trial of Socrates as he energetically defends himself against the charges of heresy and corruption of youth. As Socrates tears into his accusers, he logically proves his point each man has responsibility for his own actions. However he also displays the arrogance that has made him enemies and, as a result, he is convicted and sentenced to death by drinking hemlock.

      So more

    6. The Last Battle

      In this final installment of the Narnia tales, C.S. Lewis brings all of the characters of Narnia together to witness the end of the world they love. The story begins generations after the rule of Rilian, the son of Caspian. Narnia has enjoyed generations of peace and prosperity. Tirian is the present king of Narnia who rules with the help of his friend the Unicorn, Jewel. He is warned by Roonwit, the Centaur who studies the stars, that evil is coming to Narnia. The evil comes, strangely enough, in the form of an Ape named Shift. Shift finds a lionskin and intimidates sidekick, the simple donkey, Puzzle, into wearing the lionskin to impersonate Aslan. Shift then makes and agreement with Calormene to have the phony Aslan allow the Calormenes to cut down talking trees and enslave the Narnian animals. The Narnians, believing Puzzle to be the true Aslan,do what they are told, but lose their love and belief in the essential goodness of Aslan. They are told that Aslan and Tash (The Calormene God) are one.

      By the time Tirian finds out what is happening it is too late. He is soon captured by Shift and the Calormenes. While he is tied up he prays to Aslan asking for help. Suddently he has a vision of a room where the seven human friends of Narnia are meeting. The next thing he knows is that Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole (of the Silver Chair) are there to help him escape. The three of them go to rescue Jewel where they also find Puzzle and free him from his forced role as the phony Aslan. They then gather a small force of loyal Narnians to fight the Telmarines. As the Narnian's fall back, losing the battle, they are forced into a barn. There they find a surprise, for the barn is larger on the inside than it is outside. Indeed, there is a whole world in the barn. In this barn they see the actual Calormene God, Tash, who comes and takes a Calormene leader who called on him but did not truly believe he existed. Then suddenly Tirian turns and se more

    7. The Horse and His Boy

      The Horse and His Boy was the fifth of the Narnia books as C.S. Lewis wrote them. It is the story of an adventure that took place while the Pevensie's; Peter, Susan, Lucy, and Edmund, were kings and queens of Narnia. Shasta is a Narnian boy who has been raised as the son of a fisherman in Calormen. When he hears that his "father" is going to sell him into slavery, to a wealthy Calormen noble (called a Taarkaan), he confers with the Taarkaan's horse who is a captured talking horse from Narnia. The two decide to run away and head north for Narnia.

      Along the way they are forced by lions (so they think) to meet up with a young runaway Tarkheena (noblewoman), Aravis and her Narnian horse Hwin. Aravis is running away to avoid a marriage of state her parents have arranged for her. Along their way they have several adventures as Shasta finds he is an exact double for the Prince of Archenland (a small buffer country between the larger Narnia and Calormen). When Shasta is mistaken for his double, Prince Corin, he is brought to the palace where he learns that Queen Susan is visiting Calormen to be wooed by a Prince. But she has refused him and he does not want to let her leave. However she is planning to leave secretly. Aravis also learns that the Prince is planning a secret attack on Archenland and Narnia through the desert. When Aravis and Shasta join up again, they manage to cross the desert in a race against time to warn the King of Archenland about the attack. Just as they are getting too tired to continue on their way they are attacked by a lion and chased to Archenland where they stop at a hermit's cotta more

    8. The Hobbit

      The Hobbit is a novel by J.R.R Tolkien,author of Lord Of The Rings. The novel is about the journey of a hobbit called Bilbo Baggins, along with Gandalf The Gray, and twelve dwarves. The purpose for their journey was to reach the Misty Mountain and take back Thorin's treasures from the dragon, Smaug. Bilbo was to act as their "burglar", and also to increase their number, since they were thirteen travelers without him (which was, according to Gandalf, bad luck). It also tells the story of how the One Ring of Power passed into the possesion of Bilbo.


      1- An Unexpected Party

      2- Roast Mutton

      3- A Short Rest

      4- Over Hill & Under Hill

      5- Riddles in the Dark

      6- Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

      7- Queer Lodgings

      8- Flies & Spiders

      9- Barrels Out of Bond

      10- A Warm Wel more

    9. Haroun and the Sea of Stories

      Haroun and the Sea of stories is a political allegory written by famous British-Indian writer Salman Rushdie. The 300 odd paged tale centres around Haroun, the young son of Rashid, who is also known as the Shah of Blah amongst his critics and as the Ocean of stories amongst his friends. In the course of the narrative Rashid, the master storyteller loses his power to fabricate stories when his wife leaves him and elopes with his neighbour Mr.Sengupta, a lanky cynic, who asks the most disconcerting question of the novel, "whats the point of stories that arent even true?". In time Rashid's wife begins to share this perspective and finally leaves her husband with the rather abrupt conclusion that he was capable of nothing. His wife's departure robs Rashid of his eloquence and his little son Haroun, of the pleasures of a suitably long attention span and thus the story unfolds.

      On a tour to the valley of the Dull lake, where Rashid goes to win supporters on behalf of a corrupt politician, Mr. Buttoo, Haroun catches hold of IFF a water genie who claims he had come to dismantle RAshid's story water supply in his bathroom and blackmails him to take him along to the moon KAHANI (where exists the ocean of stories which is the source of Rashid's tales) so that he might fix his fathers sudden lack of words.

      once in KAHANI however IFF realizes that a deep rooted evil had drilled into the ocean of stories, eagerly Haroun offers to help. Together Haroun , IFF and BUTT the hoopoe make way to GUP land where lives the GUPPPIES whose only occupation is storytelling. Apparently, however, the air is thick with tragedy and hardly suitable for any stories at all since the GUPPIES precious princess (who amongst other things is a mush-brained large nosed nagging sissy with a horrible voice) has been kidnapped by the GUPPIES ardent enemies, the dangerous CHUPWALAS.

      The story then proceeds to see the brave but loquacious GUPPIES fighting a ridiculous war with the dark and graceful but abnormally quite CHUPWALAS, while Haroun almost single handedly deals with the shadow of the dreaded CHUPWALA chief, KHATTAM-SHUD.

      The war of course ends with the victory of the GUPPIES, who reward Haroun by granting his wish and more

    10. Green Eggs and Ham

       Executive Summary

      Sam wants his friend to try green eggs and ham, and after much convincing, he tries them and likes them.


      Green Eggs and Ham is a short work of fiction by legendary kids book author Dr. Seuss, in which a very persistent Sam-I-Am repeatedly asks his unnamed friend, in a multiplicity of ways, whether his friend would like ham accompanied by, of all things, green eggs.

      As the story begins, Sam's friend is recalcitrant. He tells Sam-I-Am that he "would not like them" in "a box" or "a house," nor with "a fox" or "a mouse," that he "would not eat them here or there," and in fact "would not eat them anywhere."

      Yet Sam-I-Am's friend's dogmatic anti-ham stance proves to be fleeting, as during the dramatic climax of the yarn, he suddenly and without warning embraces that which he has scorned to that critical juncture.

      Sam-I-Am's epiphany is so profound and his transformation so thorough that from this point forward he embraces the once-loathed food in all its locations -- and, the reader is led to believe, incarnations. His friend now covets the cuisine more

    11. Down and Out in Paris and London

      Down and Out in Paris and London (1933) is one of George Orwell’s first published works, an autobiographical account (or perhaps only a semiautobiographical account, depending on which reviewer/critic you read) of being destitute in Paris and London.

      The book opens in Paris with a description of the hotel and neighborhood where Orwell is lodging. The overall impression is of filth and hunger and a quietly endured, never-ending desperation for Paris’s poor. Though the wealthy do feature in this book, they are like ghosts, flitting in and out of the narrative, but ultimately are not anything that Orwell can interact with or relate to on a meaningful level.

      A one-time English tutor, Orwell has found himself without a job and low on funds. Work in Paris is scarce, particularly for a foreigner, so he begins to economize by cutting out essentials like wine and cigarettes and then, inevitably, food. His good clothes are soon pawned, along with the suitcase they were packed in, but the money he gets buys bread and butter for no more than a few days. Desperately searching for any kind of work, he seeks out and finds an old friend, Boris, an enormously fat Russian who at one point was a waiter. Boris, however, is also out of work, practically starving, and almost dying of illness and hunger when Orwell finds him. Somewhat rejuvenated by seeing his friend again, Boris insists the pair will soon find work. A dozen weeks (and many bouts of hunger, fatigue, and desperation) later, the two finally do land jobs at a hotel restaurant—Boris as a waiter, and Orwell as a plongeur, or dishwasher.

      But no ordinary dishwasher. The work of a plongeur is physically and spiritually exhausting—fourteen hours a day of frantic cleaning, scrubbing, and sweeping in the sweltering heat of a basement kitchen. And it’s at this point in the story that one telling characteristic becomes painfully apparent. Unlike other young men’s autobiographies, Orwell’s Down and Out gives no mention—ever—of love, desire, or even the pursuit thereof. His entire life has three main objectives: struggling through the workday, eating something, and grabbing a few hours of sleep before the travail starts again.

      Despite the toil, Orwell is not at all miserable, and he has to be goaded by Boris into quitting the job at the hotel for a position as plongeur at a new restaurant for which the Russian will be the maitre d’, quite a step up from waiter. The new kitchen, though, is even more cramped and, in contrast to the professional working conditions of the hotel, abysmally filthy. He has to work eighteen to twenty hours a day to keep up and gets less money for it. Demoralized, Orwell decides to return to London.

      In the first part of the book, the experience of poverty is related in claustrophobic, prison-like terms: Paris’s working poor seem geographically chained, moving only from their rented rooms to their jobs to their favorite bistros and back again. But in the second part of the book, Orwell describes London’s poor as predominantly mobile, forced to wander from shelter to shelter across London and the countryside or risk arrest.

      Soon after he arrives in London, Orwell becomes one of th more

    12. Capitalism and Freedom

      The introduction lays out the principles of Friedman's archetypal liberal, a man who supports limited and dispersed governmental power. Friedman opts for the continental European, rather than American, definition of the term.

      i. The Relation between Economic Freedom and Political Freedom

      In this chapter, Friedman promotes economic freedom as both a necessary freedom in itself and also as a vital means for political freedom. He argues that, with the means for production under the auspicies of the government, it is nearly impossible for real dissent and exchange of ideas to exist. Additionally, economic freedom is important, since any "bi-laterally voluntary and informed" transaction must benefit both parties to the transaction.

      ii. The Role of Government in a Free Society

      According to the author, the government of a liberal society should enforce law and order and property rights, as well as take action on certain technical monopolies and diminish negative "neighborhood effects." The government should also have control over money, as has long been recognized in the constitution and society

      iii. The Control of Money

      He discusses the evolution of money in America, culminating in the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. Far from acting as a stabilizer, the Federal Reserve failed to act as it should have in several circumstances. Friedman proposes that the Federal Reserve have a consistent rule to increase the money supply by 3-5% annually.

      iv. International Financial and Trade Arrangements

      This chapter advocates the end of the Bretton Woods system in favor of a floating exchange rate system and the end of all currency controls and trade barriers, even "voluntary" export quotas. Friedman says that this is the only true solution to the balance of trades problem.

      v. Fiscal Policy

      Friedman argues against the continual government spending being used to "balance the wheel" and help the economy to continue to grow. Federal government expenditures do not make the economy more stable, but have failed to balance out recession, introduced inflation, expanded government control, and failed to lighten tax burdens. Friedman uses concrete evidence from his own research, demonstrating that the rise in government expenditures results in a roughly equal rise in GDP, contrasting with the Keynsian multiplier theory. Many reasons for this discrepancy are discussed.

      vi. The Role of Government in Education

      The policy advocated here is vouchers which students may use for education at a private school of their choice. The author believes that everyone, in a democracy, needs a basic education for citizenship. Though there is underinvestment in human capital (in terms of spending at technical and professional schools), it would be foolish of the government to provide free technical education. The author suggests several solutions, some private, some public, to stop this underinvestment.

      vii. Capitalism and Discrimination'

      In a capitalist society, Friedman argues, it costs money to discriminate, and it is very difficult, given the impersonal nature of market transactions. However, the government should not make fair employment practices laws (eventually embodied in the Civil Rights Act of 1964), as these inhibit the freedom to employ someone based on whatever qualifications the employer wishes to use. The same principle was used by the Nazis in the Nuremberg Laws. For the same reason, right-to-work laws should be abolished.

      viii. Monopoly and the Social Responsibility of Business and Labor

      Friedman states, there are three alternatives for a monopoly: public monopoly, private monopoly, or public regulation. None of these is desirable or universally preferable. Monopolies come from many sources, but direct and indirect government intervention is the most common, and it should be stopped wherever possible. The doctrine of "social responsibility", that corporations should care about the community and not just profit, is highly subversive to the capitalist system and can only lead towards totalitarianism.

      ix. Occupational Licensure

      This ec more

    13. A Morbid Taste for Bones

      Medieval man believed in the power of bones. The bones of saints were revered, collected and even fought over by churches and monasteries because they were believed to effect miracles. A church or monastery which had the relics (bones or other remnants) of saints could expect to collect much money in the way of alms of the pilgrims who came seeking miracles. This "Morbid Taste for Bones," sets the scene for the first of Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael Series.

      Cadfael is a monk at the Abbey of St. Peter and St. Paul in Shrewsbury during the twelfth century. He has come late to the cowl, having served the Lord as a Crusader in the Holy Land for many years. Thus he is more worldly and less naive than many of his monastic brothers. As the herbalist for his monastery and the surrounding area, he has more freedom of movement than most monks of his order. In this first of twenty Brother Cadfael novels, he is chosen to accompany a group of monks on a trip to Wales to recover the bones of St. Winifrid. Winifred is a Welsh saint who died and was buried in Welsh soil, and Cadfael has his doubts about the mission. One of the brothers in his monastery, Columbanus, has had a vision that St. Winifrid wants her bones brought to their monastery. Cadfael is chosen to go on the journey because he is Welsh and speaks the language.

      As Cadfael expected, the Welsh villagers of the town where Winifrid lived and more

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