A list by Adri Matamoros
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Adri Matamoros
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Desert Solitaire
Edward Abbey
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Flatland
Edwin A. Abbott
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Things Fall Apart
Chinua Achebe
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My Dog Tulip
J. R. Ackerley
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams
Amazing
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The Education of Henry Adams
Henry Adams
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Half of a Yellow Sun
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Set in Nigeria during the decade culminating in the 1967–70 Biafran war, a secession conflict that left more than a million dead from violence and famine, this story is at once a historical drama and a tale of family struggles and romances gone right and wrong. Half of a Yellow Sun established Adich...show more
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The Oresteia
Aeschylus
If you seek between covers an education in the trials and tribulations, the hopes and fears, the terrors and triumphs of the human spirit, the majestic tragedies of the ancient Greeks are the place to begin, and perhaps the place to end as well. In their beautiful, haunting, unsparing plays, Aeschyl...show more
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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Edward Albee
At the outset of his long, ever-evolving career as a dramatist, Edward Albee was an American heir to the intellectual energies of the European Theater of the Absurd. In Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, first staged in 1962, Albee moved his ferocity out of the absurd into a more realistic setting, a ...show more
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Fascism: A Warning
Madeleine Albright
Pat Cosentino shared her thoughts on why we must all read Madeleine Albright's book, Facism: A Warning, in our virtual Battle with Byrd's Books of Bethel, CT on July 14, 2020. This personal and urgent examination of facism in the 21st century and how its legacy is shaping today's world is indeed a w...show more
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Little Women
Louisa May Alcott
The best book in the planet.
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The Timeless Way of Building
Christopher Alexander
Many years ago my wife and I spent a week walking through Umbria, from hilltown to hilltown, marveling at many things, not least the distinctive beauty of each town. Reading Christopher Alexander’s provocative theory of architecture, elaborated in this rich and philosophic book, has given me words t...show more
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The Book of Three
Lloyd Alexander
The Book of Three, the initial installment of The Chronicles of Prydain, a fabled five-volume series, was only Lloyd Alexander’s second novel, yet it permanently established him as a writer for adolescents whose work could be enjoyed with uninhibited and even critical pleasure by adult readers as we...show more
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Inferno: The Divine Comedy, Book 1
Dante Alighieri
From the dark wood of its beginning, down through the nine circles of hell, across the seven terraces of purgatory, and into the ten heavens of paradise, Dante’s medieval tour de force gives us, in T. S. Eliot’s estimation, the greatest altitude and the greatest depth of human passion any writer has...show more
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Purgatorio: The Divine Comedy, Book 2
Dante Alighieri
Although the stories in hell are better than those in purgatory, sin being a sexier subject than penance, Dante’s poetry never palls. Throughout, he infuses his narrative with a current of feeling that humanizes the austere theological arc of his pilgrim’s progress.
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Paradiso: The Divine Comedy, Book 3
Dante Alighieri
As the Comedy ascends to a heaven of light, Dante completes the grand imaginative arc he began in the dark wood, having composed out of eschatological speculations an epic as thrilling as those of Homer, as filled with human sensibility as Virgil’s—one in which all the deadly sins, and all the longe...show more
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Zen Master Poems
Dick Allen
At a recent Battle in Bethel, CT, Cortney Davis chose an American distillation of Buddhist wisdom composed—with wit, ingenuity, and poetic command—by a former poet laureate of the state of Connecticut. Allen's poems make one ponder life a little more carefully, putting a spring in one’s spiritual st...show more
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The House of the Spirits
Isabel Allende
On January 8, 1981, journalist and former television host Isabel Allende, a Chilean political exile, sat down in Venezuela to write a letter to her nearly 100-year-old grandfather in an attempt to bridge the distance between her present and her family’s past. She began with an anecdote he had told h...show more
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Skellig
David Almond
Some books are like talismans, compact in their power, possessed of an aura mysterious and meaningful, even if—especially if—the precise nature of its mystery and meaning eludes us. Such a work is David Almond’s Skellig, which won the Carnegie Medal as best children’s book by a British author when i...show more
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A Coffin for Dimitrios
Eric Ambler
“To the master from one of his disciples,” read a cable from Graham Greene to the author of A Coffin for Dimitrios, in acknowledgment of the latter’s influence not only on Greene’s own literary achievement, but also on the development of the international novel of intrigue. In its depiction of an am...show more
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