show episodes
 
Aristotle’s Poetics from the 4th century B.C. aims to give a short study of storytelling. It discusses things like unity of plot, reversal of situation, and character in the context of Greek tragedy, comedy and epic poetry. But it still applies today. It is especially popular with screenwriters as seen in many script gurus’ how-to books.
 
Considered to be one of Shakespeare's greatest plays, the tragedy King Lear portrays some of the darkest aspects of human nature that can be found in literature. The helplessness of the human condition, as we fall prey to our destinies, the injustice and random cruelties practiced by people, suffering and humiliation, the lust for power and the greed for wealth are all depicted in this magnificent play. And through it all, runs the golden thread of love and sacrifice, daughterly affection an ...
 
Roger Mifflin is the somewhat eccentric proprietor of The Haunted Bookshop, a second-hand bookstore in Brooklyn that is “haunted by the ghosts of all great literature.” Beginning with the arrival of a young advertising man and the mysterious disappearance of a certain volume from the shelves of the bookshop, a lively and often humorous tale of intrigue unfolds, generously sprinkled with liberal doses of Roger’s unique philosophy on literature and book selling.
 
Nearly 160 years after it was first published, Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass continues to inspire, enthrall and educate generations of readers. This collection of poems serves as a vehicle for Whitman's philosophy, ideals, love of nature and mystical musings and it subsequently became one of the corner stones of American literature. Whitman was inspired to write Leaves of Grass based on Ralph Waldo Emerson's clarion call for a truly American poet who would tell of its glories, virtues and v ...
 
Best known for his scary tales, mystery and detective stories and imaginative fantasy stories, Edgar Allan Poe was also a gifted poet. He wrote more than 70 poems and almost all of them have been widely appreciated by readers and critics alike. This collection contains some of his most famous ones, including the immortal Raven, which combines a sense of doom and nameless despair. With its ringing, alliterative and repetitive lines and strange, supernatural atmosphere, it remains one of Poe's ...
 
This is truly a delightful compilation of some of the best known and loved passages from William Shakespeare's plays. Most readers would be familiar with all or at least some of them. If you've studied Shakespeare in school or college, plays like The Merchant of Venice and Macbeth were probably assigned texts. However, if you haven't encountered these plays before, Shakespeare Monologues is a great volume to browse through and enjoy at leisure. It's important to know that there is a distinct ...
 
Magnificent in its scale and scope, this monumental poem by the blind poet John Milton was the first epic conceived in the English language. It describes an omniscient, all powerful God, the Fall of Man, the Temptation in the Garden of Eden, the disgraced angel who later becomes known as Satan, the Angelic Wars fought by Archangels Michael and Raphael and the Son of God who is the real hero of this saga. The poet John Milton was more than sixty years old when he embarked on this immense work ...
 
A treasure trove of more than two hundred poems, this gem of an anthology compiled by Mary E Burt is indeed a most valuable set of poems to read or listen to. Published in 1904, Poems Every Child Should Know contains some well-loved verses like Thomas Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, Lewis Carroll's delightful parody Father William, Felicia Hemans' deeply-moving Casablanca and other favorites. It also has lesser-known but equally beautiful pieces like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow' ...
 
William Shakespeare’s most well-known play is more than most people realize. While it is the story of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, it is also the story of two families in the middle of a bitter feud. Many people avoid the story because they believe it will be too difficult to read, but this is not true at all. Within a few paragraphs, the play captures your imagination and attention. Juliet is 13 years old and is love with the son of her father’s enemy. Her father has promised that ...
 
Summer nights, romance, music, comedy, pairs of lovers who have yet to confess their feelings to each other, comedy and more than a touch of magic are all woven into one of Shakespeare's most delightful and ethereal creations – A Midsummer Night's Dream. The plot is as light and enchanting as the settings themselves. The Duke of Athens is busy with preparations for his forthcoming wedding to Hippolyta the Amazonian Queen. In the midst of this, Egeus, an Athenian aristocrat marches in, flanke ...
 
In seventeenth century Venice, a wealthy and debauched man discovers that the woman he is infatuated with is secretly married to a Moorish general in the Venetian army. He shares his grief and rage with a lowly ensign in the army who also has reason to hate the general for promoting a younger man above him. The villainous ensign now plots to destroy the noble general in a diabolical scheme of jealousy, paranoia and murder, set against the backdrop of the bloody Turkish-Venetian wars. This ti ...
 
Dear Enemy is the sequel to Jean Webster’s novel Daddy-Long-Legs. The story as presented in a series of letters written by Sallie McBride, Judy Abbott’s college mate in Daddy-Long-Legs. Among the recipients of the letters are the president of the orphanage where Sallie is filling in until a new director can be installed, his wife (Judy Abbott of Daddy-Long-Legs), and the orphanage’s doctor (to whom Sallie addresses her letters: “Dear Enemy”).
 
Right from its famous opening scene which begins, “Thunder and lightning. Enter Three Witches” The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare holds the reader fast in a stirring, monumental experience that plumbs the depths of the human soul and reveals its most morbid secrets. The play is set in medieval Scotland. It is based partly on historical facts and recounts the tale of Macbeth, who was a king in Scotland, according to The Holinshead Chronicles, a book published in 1577. This book was ...
 
Though it's titled The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, the man himself appears only in five scenes in the entire play! However, such is his impact on the events that surrounded him that he still remains the central figure in this psychological drama that combines politics, honor, assassination, betrayal, the lust for power, patriotism and friendship. Set in 44 BC in ancient Rome, it is one of William Shakespeare's early Tragedies. First thought to have been performed in September 1599, William Sha ...
 
Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor and philosopher who wrote Meditations; insights which were considered to give the meaning of life. The book was not written with the intent to be published. It offers a noteworthy chain of challenging situations which are a reflection on spirituality and enumerate the struggle to understand oneself and one's role in the universe. Written in the style of a journal, Meditations emphasizes that life in this world is short. Aurelius was a stoic philosopher who ...
 
Bulfinch’s Mythology, first published in 1855, is one of the most popular collections of mythology of all time. It consists of three volumes: The Age of Fable, The Age of Chivalry, and Legends of Charlemagne. This is a recording of the tenth edition of the first volume, The Age of Fable. It contains many Greek and Roman myths, including simplified versions of The Iliad and The Odyssey, as well as a selection of Norse and “eastern” myths. Thomas Bulfinch’s goal was to make the ancient myths a ...
 
Henry VI, Part 1 is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1591, and set during the lifetime of King Henry VI of England. Whereas 2 Henry VI deals with the King's inability to quell the bickering of his nobles, and the inevitability of armed conflict, and 3 Henry VI deals with the horrors of that conflict, 1 Henry VI deals with the loss of England's French territories and the political machinations leading up to the Wars of the Roses, as the English political ...
 
This book is one of the earliest studies of Philippine history by an American scholar. In preparation for this book, the author conducted ethnological studies of indiginous island tribes after the American war in the Philippines. Since this book was intended for the Philippine reader, the author nicely places the history of the Islands into the broader context of European and American history.
 
H. P. Lovecraft’s name is synonymous with horror fiction. His major inspiration and invention was cosmic horror: the idea that life is incomprehensible to human minds and that the universe is fundamentally alien. This collection contains 24 Lovecraft works that are in the public domain.
 
A novel that disturbs you 160 years after it first appeared in print, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, has so much relevance and resonance even today. Dorian Gray is a strikingly handsome young man whose beauty attracts a debauched aristocrat Sir Henry Wotton. Dorian's picture has been painted by a talented artist Basil Hallward and Sir Henry becomes desperate to meet Dorian, though Basil himself is against it. Sir Henry persuades Dorian to pose for a picture painted by Basil and d ...
 
The intention of this work is to provide a sketch of the History of the Church in the first six centuries of its existence, resting throughout on original authorities, and also giving references to the principal modern works which have dealt specially with its several portions. It is hoped that it may be found to supply a convenient summary for those who can give but little time to the study, and also to serve as a guide for those who desire to make themselves acquainted with the principal d ...
 
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show series
 
Jeff and Rebecca talk about the Pulitzer Prize announcements, things happening in conservative publishing, a sweeping Amazon investigative report, and more. Follow the podcast via RSS, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify. The show can also be found on Stitcher. For more industry news, sign up for our Today in Books daily newsletter! Discussed in this episo…
 
Jeff and Rebecca pick their most memorable, favorite, and otherwise noteworthy reads of 2021 so far. This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Rebecca’s Picks: Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro Girlhood by Melissa Febos Little Devil in America by …
 
Jeff and Rebecca talk about Amazon buying MGM, Roxane Gay’s new imprint, what makes an “it” book, and more. Discussed in this episode: Fare thee well, Eric Carle Amazon buys MGM Roxane Gay imprint! WNDB no longer using “own voices” SHE SAID movie coming John Steinbeck’s unpublished…werewolf novel?? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy informatio…
 
Jeff and Rebecca discuss the results of their Summer Draft showdown and try a little something new with Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley Ford. This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.…
 
Jeff and Rebecca talk about the listener survey, a new giant ereader, Amazon sort of coming to libraries, and much more. Discussed in this episode: Constance Grady weighs in on Pence / S & S, and publishing’s existential crisis: DPLA signs deal w/ Amazon Publishing to make their ebooks available to libraries A piece worth reading on cancel culture …
 
Jeff and Rebecca compete to draft the best list of Summer 2021 new releases. This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Jeff’s Picks Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley Ford One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston The Ugly Cry by Danielle Henderson Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor Intimacies by …
 
Jeff and Rebecca set a BR reader poll, talk more about the publication of the Mike Pence book, get into how much authors make, and wonder if a techno-fad has a place in the world of books. Discussed in this episode: BR podcast poll: Which of these books have you read? Jonathan Karp digs in deeper on Pence book *and* there’s a recording of another t…
 
Jeff and Rebecca talk about the uncoolness of ereading, how Jeff was right in a way that matters, a diversity in writing initiative from Reese’s Book Club, and more. Discussed in this episode: Reese’s Book Club offering fellowship for unpublished writers from underrepresented groups Shouts for Jess Pryde! Another editorial about What Publishing Sta…
 
Jeff and Rebecca respond to listener requests for recommendations for moms, dads, grads (and themselves). This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, Book Riot may earn a commission. Books and Authors discussed in this episode: Shop Class as Soul Craft Flight: The Complete History of Aviation The Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gl…
 
Jeff and Rebecca check-in on the rolling reckoning, talk about dedicated e-readers, Murakami’s thsirt line, and more. Haruki Murakami’s t-shirt line is live Follow up: Open letter from publishing professionals against book deals for any member of Trump Administration Follow up: Norton pulls Roth biography out of print Big NYT coverage of the rollin…
 
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