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Scholarly to-read list

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books known to appear on the exam, as well as other novels commonly read in hs and college

The Art of Happiness

An updated edition of a beloved classic, the original book on happiness, with new material from His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Dr. Howard Cutler. Nearly every time you see him, he's laughing, or at least smiling. And he makes everyone else around him feel like smiling. He's the Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, a Nobel Prize winner, and a hugely sought-after speaker and statesman. Why is he so popular? Even after spending only a few minutes in his presence you can't help feeling happier. If you ask him if he's happy, even though he's suffered the loss of his country, the Dalai Lama will give you an unconditional yes. What's more, he'll tell you that happiness is the purpose of life, and that the very motion of our life is toward happiness. How to get there has always been the question. He's tried to answer it before, but he's never had the help of a psychiatrist to get the message across in a context we can easily understand. The Art of Happiness is the book that started the genre of happiness books, and it remains the cornerstone of the field of positive psychology. Through conversations, stories, and meditations, the Dalai Lama shows us how to defeat day-to-day anxiety, insecurity, anger, and discouragement. Together with Dr. Howard Cutler, he explores many facets of everyday life, including relationships, loss, and the pursuit of wealth, to illustrate how to ride through life's obstacles on a deep and abiding source of inner peace. Based on 2,500 years of Buddhist meditations mixed with a healthy dose of common sense, The Art of Happiness is a book that crosses the boundaries of traditions to help readers with difficulties common to all human beings. After being in print for ten years, this book has touched countless lives and uplifted spirits around the world.

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Faust: Part 2

The second part of Goethe's masterpiece opens with Faust struggling to recover from the death of his beloved Gretchen. The quick-witted demon Mephistopheles soon persuades him to look beyond his sorrow and enter the world of politics and power, but the great scholar is still eager for new sensations, and asks Mephistopheles to reveal Helen of Troy to him in a vision. Overwhelmed by her beauty, Faust demands she be brought back from the underworld - but even this fails to bring him contentment, and his appetite for knowledge remains unsated. Completed a few months before Goethe's death, this rich and allusive work weaves together a wealth of diverse philosophical ideas and influences, reworking the medieval myth of Dr. Faustus and speculating upon the search for truth in the Age of Enlightenment.

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Paradise lost

John Milton's celebrated epic poem exploring the cosmological, moral and spiritual origins of man's existence, Paradise Lost has been fully revised with an introduction by John Leonard in Penguin Classics.In Paradise Lost Milton produced poem of epic scale, conjuring up a vast, awe-inspiring cosmos and ranging across huge tracts of space and time, populated by a memorable gallery of grotesques. And yet, in putting a charismatic Satan and naked, innocent Adam and Eve at the centre of this story, he also created an intensely human tragedy on the Fall of Man. Written when Milton was in his fifties - blind, bitterly disappointed by the Restoration and in danger of execution - Paradise Lost's apparent ambivalence towards authority has led to intense debate about whether it manages to 'justify the ways of God to men', or exposes the cruelty of Christianity.John Leonard's revised edition of Paradise Lost contains full notes, which elucidates Milton's biblical, classical and historical allusions and discuss his vivid, highly original use of language and blank verse.John Milton (1608-1674) spent his early years in scholarly pursuit. In 1649 he took up the cause for the new Commonwealth, defending the English revolution both in English and Latin - and sacrificing his eyesight in the process. He risked his life by publishing The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth on the eve of the Restoration (1660). His great poems were published after this political defeat.If you enjoyed Paradise Lost, you might like Dante's Inferno, also available in Penguin Classics.'An endless moral maze, introducing literature's first Romantic, Satan' John Carey'Paradise Lost is, to my mind, the greatest poem in English' Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials trilogy

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The Running Man

A desperate man attempts to win a reality TV game where the only objective is to stay alive in this #1 national bestseller from Stephen King, writing as Richard Bachman. “Tomorrow at noon, the hunt begins. Remember his face!” Ben Richards is a desperate man. With no job, no money, no way out, and a young daughter in need of proper medical attention, he must turn to the only possibility of striking it rich in this near-future dystopian America: participating in the ultraviolent TV programming of the government-sanctioned Games Network. Ben soon finds himself selected as a contestant on the biggest and the best that the Games Network has to offer: The Running Man, a no-holds-barred thirty-day struggle to stay alive as public enemy number one, relentlessly hunted by an elite strike force bent on killing him as quickly as possible in front of an audience all too eager to see that happen. It means a billion dollars in prize money if he can live for the next month. No one has ever survived longer than eight days. But desperation can push a person do things they never thought possible—and Ben Richards is willing to go the distance in this ultimate game of life and death....

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Civilization and its Discontents

Written in the decade before Freud's death, Civilization and Its Discontents may be his most famous and most brilliant work. It has been praised, dissected, lambasted, interpreted, and reinterpreted. Originally published in 1930, it seeks to answer several questions fundamental to human society and its organization: What influences led to the creation of civilization? Why and how did it come to be? What determines civilization's trajectory? Freud's theories on the effect of the knowledge of death on human existence and the birth of art are central to his work. Of the various English translations of Freud's major works to appear in his lifetime, only Norton's Standard Edition, under the general editorship of James Strachey, was authorized by Freud himself. This new edition includes both an introduction by the renowned cultural critic and writer Christopher Hitchens as well as Peter Gay's classic biographical note on Freud.

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The Inferno,

Belonging in the immortal company of the works of Homer, Virgil, Milton, and Shakespeare, Dante Alighieri's poetic masterpiece is a visionary journey that takes readers through the torment of Hell.

The first part of Dante's Divine Comedy is many things: a moving human drama, a supreme expression of the Middle Ages, a glorification of the ways of God, and a magnificent protest against the ways in which men have thwarted the divine plan. One of the few literary works that has enjoyed a fame both immediate and enduring, The Inferno remains powerful after seven centuries. It confronts the most universal values--good and evil, free will and predestination--while remaining intensely personal and ferociously political, for it was born out of the anguish of a man who saw human life blighted by the injustice and corruption of his times.

Translated by John CiardiWith an Introduction by Archibald T. MacAllisterand an Afterword by Edward M. Cifelli

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River Out of Eden

How did the replication bomb we call "life" begin and where in the world, or rather, in the universe, is it heading? Writing with characteristic wit and an ability to clarify complex phenomena (the New York Times described his style as "the sort of science writing that makes the reader feel like a genius"), Richard Dawkins confronts this ancient mystery.

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The canterbury tales

Inspired by Boccaccio's Decameron, and framed as a storytelling competition between a group of pilgrims, Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales is one of the greatest works of English literature, translated from the Middle English with an introduction by Nevill Coghill in Penguin Classics.In The Canterbury Tales Chaucer created one of the great touchstones of English literature, a masterly collection of chivalric romances, moral allegories and low farce. A story-telling competition between a group of pilgrims from all walks of life is the occasion for a series of tales that range from the Knight's account of courtly love and the ebullient Wife of Bath's Arthurian legend, to the ribald anecdotes of the Miller and the Cook. Rich and diverse, The Canterbury Tales offers us an unrivalled glimpse into the life and mind of Medieval England.Nevill Coghill's masterly and vivid English verse translation is rendered with consummate skill to retain all the vigour and poetry of Chaucer's fourteenth-century Middle English.Geoffrey Chaucer (c.1343-1400) was an English author, poet, philosopher, courtier and diplomat, best known as the author of The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer is credited as being the first author to demonstrate the artistic legitimacy of the vernacular English language. The first poet to have been buried in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey, his other works include The House of Fame, Troilus and Criseyde and The Book of the Duchess.If you enjoyed The Canterbury Tales, you might like Boccaccio's Decameron, also available in Penguin Classics.'Nevill Coghill's easy, seductive translation ensures that this, the most popular work in English Literature - now 600 years old - will run through yet more centuries, delighting yet more readers, shaping more writers'Melvyn Bragg

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