Searching for: "Adrian Praetzellis"

  • Kenneth Grahame

    The classic story of how Rat, Mole, and the other river-bankers saved Toad from his excesses. This book has it all: excitement, sentiment, destruction of private property (plenty of that), paganism, and a happy ending. The prose is beautiful and occasionally requires the use of a dictionary - I had to look up "asperities." Written as a children's story, The Wind in the Willows is enjoyed by many grown-ups who relish Grahame's ability to evoke the long summer days of childhood. (Description by Adrian...read more

  • Theodor Herzl

    Read in English, this is a pivotal document in the history of Zionism and the State of Israel. Herzl designed this work to elevate the discussion of "the Jewish Question" so it would "no longer take the form of violent abuse or sentimental vindication but of a debate, practical, large, earnest, and political." While few of Herzl's proposals were actually carried out, the importance of A JEWISH STATE was in the groundswell of support for a Jewish homeland engendered by its solutions to the practical problems of establishing a new state. In the words of a contemporary, "[Herzl] made it seem possible." Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl (1860-1904) was a Hungarian writer, political economist, and Jewish...read more

  • Algernon Blackwood

    Fantasy novel about the mystical adventures of a lonely English boy, Jimbo. It’s really quite beautiful and can be enjoyed by both older kids and adults, though parts may be too scary for younger children (who'd probably be bored anyway). (Summary by Adrian...read more

  • Israel Zangwill

    In this 1892 novel of London's Jewish East End, Israel Zangwill sets the apparently irrational and decidedly indecorous religious practices of transplanted eastern European Jews against the forces of assimilation. Zangwill's knowledge of Yiddishkeit and skill in melodrama created a series of unforgettable vignettes that had a significant effect on the public perception of this much stigmatized immigrant group. Israel Zangwill (1864-1926) was born in London of Russian and Polish parents. He coined the term cultural "melting pot". (Summary by Adrian...read more

  • John Muir

    The journal of nature-lover John Muir who spent the summer of 1869 walking California's Sierra Nevada range. From French Bar to Mono Lake and the Yosemite Valley, Muir was awestruck by everything he saw. The antics of the smallest "insect people" amazed him as much as stunted thousand-year old Juniper trees growing with inconceivable tenacity from tiny cracks in the stone. Muir spent the rest of his life working to preserve the high Sierra, believing that "the clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness." John Muir (1838-1914) was born in Dunbar, Scotland and grew up in Wisconsin, USA. This recording commemorates the 140th anniversary of that first summer. (Summary by...read more

  • Amy Levy

    Reuben Sachs is a London lawyer whose political aspirations do not include marriage to Judith Quixano, the daughter of a respectable but unexeptional family. But without Reuben, a woman like Judith might have a bleak future in mid-19th century England: a loveless marriage or lifelong dependancy are apparently her only options... A feminist, a Jew, and a lesbian, Amy Levy wrote about Anglo-Jewish cultural mores and the lives of would-be independent women in Victorian society. Levy was as repelled by contemporary literature's occasional paragon (e.g., Daniel Deronda) as by its more frequent anti-Semitic stereotypes. REUBEN SACHS was her attempt at an honest, warts-and-all account of middle...read more

  • Herman Hesse

    Siddhartha is one of the great philosophical novels. Profoundly insightful, it is also a beautifully written story that begins as Siddhartha, son of an Indian Brahman, leaves his family and begins a lifelong journey towards Enlightenment. On the way he faces the entire range of human experience and emotion: he lives with ascetics, meets Gotama the Buddha, learns the art of love from Kamala the courtesan, and is transformed by the simple philosophy of the ferryman Vasudeva whose wisdom comes not from learned teachings but from observing the River. Herman Hesse (1877-1962) was a German-Swiss novelist, poet, and painter. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. This recording...read more

  • Israel Zangwill

    It's a cold and foggy night in London. A man is horribly murdered in his bedroom, the door locked and bolted on the inside. Scotland Yard is stumped. Yet the seemingly unsolvable case has, as Inspector Grodman says, "one sublimely simple solution" that is revealed in a final chapter full of revelations and a shocking denouement. Detective fiction afficionados will be happy to learn that all the evidence to solve the case is provided. One of the earliest "locked room" mystery stories, The Big Bow Mystery is also a satire of late Victorian society. (Summary by Adrian...read more

  • H. De Vere Stacpoole

    Two shipwrecked children grow up on a South Pacific island. This beautiful story of adventure and innocent love was H.D. Stacpoole's most popular work. Parents who may have seen the Hollywood film need not be anxious about the book's suitability for kids -- the author's treatment of adolescent sexuality is almost mystical and very mild. The story of The Blue Lagoon (1908) continues in The Garden of God (1923) and The Gates of Morning (1925). A ship's doctor, Henry De Vere Stacpoole (1863-1951) published over 90 works of fiction, poetry, autobiography, and translation. (Summary by Adrian...read more

  • Israel Zangwill

    Manasseh da Costa, protagonist of this hilarious novel, is a schnorrer (beggar) who lives on the charitable contributions of the Jews of late 18th-century London. Manasseh is far from being a humble panhandler for, as every schnorrer knows, supporting the poor is a commandment from God (a mitzvah) not just a favour. And as the descendant of Portuguese Jews who had lived in England for many generations, Manasseh is the social superior of those newly arrived from Eastern Europe (Tedesco)-even his wealthy 'patron' Joseph Grobstock. The book concludes as the ever-audacious Manasseh strikes a blow for tolerance and understanding-while helping himself along the way. (Summary by Adrian...read more

  • John Buchan

    Richard Hannay's boredom is soon relieved when the resourceful engineer is caught up in a web of secret codes, spies, and murder on the eve of WWI. This exciting action-adventure story was the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock's 1939 classic film of the same name. John Buchan (1875-1940) was Governor General of Canada and a popular novelist. Although condemned by some for anti-Semitic dialog in The Thirty-Nine Steps, his character's sentiments do not represent the view of the author who was identified in Hitler's Sonderfahndungsliste (special search list) as a "Jewish sympathiser." (Summary by Adrian...read more

  • Various Authors

    A collection of 48 wonderful English language stories from Sholem Alechem, I. L. Perez, Shalom Asch, and others. Tales of humour and drama, tragedy and pathos set mostly in the Jewish communities of 19th-century eastern Europe, Russia, and the Ukraine. Translated from Yiddish by Helena Frank. (Summary by Adrian...read more

  • Thomas Hardy

    One of the greatest English tragic novels, TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES (1891) is the story of a "pure woman" who is victimized both by conventional morality and its antithesis. Born near Dorchester, Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) set most of his stories in the region between Berkshire and Dorset in the fictional county of Wessex. He was a controversial writer whose work often showed the result of flouting the rigid Victorian moral code - his novel JUDE THE OBSCURE was (allegedly) burned by the Bishop of Wakefield for its shocking content. Hardy was an unflinching observer and in TESS has left us some unforgettable vignettes of rural life in late 19th-century England: the slow death of a flock of...read more

  • Frederick Marryat

    One of the first novel-length pieces of nautical fiction, MR. MIDSHIPMAN EASY (1836) is a funny and easygoing account of the adventures of Jack Easy, a son of privilege who joins the Royal Navy. The work begins as a satire on Jack's attachment to "the rights of man" that may try the listener's patience. But despair not, for the story soon settles down as the philosophical midshipman begins his many triumphs over bullies, foul weather, and various damned foreigners of murderous intent. Caveat audiens: This novel employs racial/ethnic epithets and religious stereotypes, as well as taking a rather sunny view of supply-side economics. In short, there's something here to offend almost...read more

  • Theodor Herzl

    Read in English, this is a pivotal document in the history of Zionism and the State of Israel. Herzl designed this work to elevate the discussion of "the Jewish Question" so it would "no longer take the form of violent abuse or sentimental vindication but of a debate, practical, large, earnest, and political." While few of Herzl's proposals were actually carried out, the importance of A JEWISH STATE was in the groundswell of support for a Jewish homeland engendered by its solutions to the practical problems of establishing a new state. In the words of a contemporary, "[Herzl] made it seem possible." Benjamin Ze'ev Herzl (1860-1904) was a Hungarian writer, political economist, and Jewish...read more

  • Dhan Gopal Mukerji

    The adventures of an Indian boy and his beloved elephant. Born near Calcutta, Mukerji won the Newbury Medal for children's fiction. (Summary by Adrian...read more

  • Edward Lear

    A selection of nonsense poems, songs (not sung!), stories, and miscellaneous strangeness. The work includes the "Owl and the Pussycat" and a recipe for Amblongus Pie, which begins "Take 4 pounds (say 4½ pounds) of fresh ablongusses and put them in a small pipkin." Edward Lear was an English writer, poet, cat-lover, and illustrator (his watercolours are beautiful). This recording celebrates the 200th anniversary of Lear's birth. (Summary by Adrian...read more

  • H. De Vere Stacpoole

    Two young children, cousins Dicky and Emmeline Lestrange, and a galley cook survive a shipwreck in the South Pacific and are stranded on a lush tropical island. The cook, kindly old salt Paddy Button, assumes the responsibility for caring for the children. Paddy eventually dies in a drunken binge and the children are left to survive solely on their resourcefulness and the bounty of their remote paradise. In time, Richard and Emmeline grow into beautiful young adults when strange emotions begin to influence their...read more

  • Robert Louis Stevenson

    A mysterious map, pirates, and pieces of eight! When young Jim Hawkins finds a map to pirates' gold he starts on an adventure that takes him from his English village to a desert island with the murderous Black Dog, half-mad Ben Gunn, and (of course) Long John Silver. Arr Jim lad! R.L. Stevenson (1850-1894) was born in Scotland and travelled extensively in California and the south...read more

  • H. G. Wells

    A funny and touching account of the imaginative Mr. Polly who, bored and trapped in his conventional life, makes a U-turn--and changes...read more