Bucket List Books

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    Now a major musical film from Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech"), starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway, and also featuring Amanda Seyfreid, Helena Bonham-Carter and Sacha Baron-Cohen, Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables" is one of the great works of western literature. Victor Hugo's tale of injustice, heroism and love follows the fortunes of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), an escaped convict determined to put his criminal past behind him. But his attempts to become a respected member of the community are constantly put under threat: by his own conscience, when, owing to a case of mistaken identity, another man is arrested in his place; and by the relentless investigations of the dogged Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe). It is not simply for himself that Valjean must stay free, however, for he has sworn to protect the baby daughter of Fantine (Anne Hathaway), driven to prostitution by poverty. Victor Hugo (1802-85) wrote volumes of criticism, Romantic costume dramas, satirical verse and political journalism but is best remembered for his novels, especially "Notre-Dame de Paris" (1831), also known as "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" and "Les Miserables" (1862) which was adapted into one of the most successful musicals of all time. "All human life is here". (Cameron). Mackintosh, producer of the musical "Les Miserables". "One of the half-dozen greatest novels of the world". (Upton Sinclair). "A great writer - inventive, witty, sly, innovatory". (A. S. Byatt, author of "Possession").
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    Part of "Penguin's" beautiful hardback "Clothbound Classics" series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.
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    Harper Lee's acclaimed To Kill a Mockingbird won a Pulitzer Prize after its publication in 1960 and is hugely influential in its exposure of racial prejudice.

    Set in the American Deep South, the story is seen through the eyes of six-year-old Scout, whose lawyer father Atticus Finch defends a young black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman.

    As Scout's family deals with the hostility and prejudice as a result of the case, there's a dawning realisation for Scout of all the inequality and injustice in her world.

    Powerful and moving, this 'Great American Novel' is a must-have addition to every reader's bookshelf and with the publication of follow-up Go Set a Watchman already one of the biggest sellers of the year, now is the perfect time to rediscover the hugely important book.
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    Tomorrow is another day ...Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Civil War, Margaret Mitchell's magnificent historical epic is an unforgettable tale of love and loss, of a nation mortally divided and a people forever changed. Above all, it is the story of beautiful, ruthless Scarlett O'Hara and the dashing soldier of fortune, Rhett Butler. Since its first publication in 1936, Gone With The Wind has endured as a story for all our times.
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    "What do you think that is?' she asked me, again pointing with her stick; 'that, where those cobwebs are?" "I can't guess what it is, ma'am". "It's a great cake. A bride-cake. Mine"! Pip, a young orphan, has his life altered irrevocably by a strange chain of events - a terrifying graveside encounter with an escaped prisoner; a visit to a black-hearted old woman and a beautiful girl; an unexpected fortune from a secret donor. Escaping his poor background for London, however, he finds that he cannot run away from who he really is. Dickens' extraordinary late work, published in 1861, is a frightening, funny and tender portrayal of self-discovery and redemption. Its misguided hero, Pip, is one of the most moving and memorable characters in fiction.
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    Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment follows the story of Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, who wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. Imagining himself to be a great man, acting for a higher purpose beyond conventional moral law, he embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a suspicious police investigator. Soon feeling guilty and pursued by his own conscience, it is up to the downtrodden prostitute Sonya to offer him his only chance of redemption. This is a rewarding read from the author of The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov.

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    Dorian Gray is having his picture painted by Basil Hallward, who is charmed by his looks. But when Sir Henry Wotton visits, and seduces Dorian into the worship of youthful beauty with an intoxicating speech, Dorian makes a wish he will live to regret: that all the marks of age will now be reflected in the portrait, rather than on Dorian's own face. The stage is now set for a masterful tale about appearance, reality, art, life, truth, fiction and the ultimate burden of conscience.
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    This edition has a new introduction by Paulo Coelho. "Siddhartha" is perhaps the most important and compelling moral allegory our troubled century has produced. Integrating Eastern and Western spiritual traditions with psychoanalysis and philosophy, this strangely simple tale, written with a deep and moving empathy for humanity, has touched the lives of millions since its original publication in 1922. Set in India, "Siddhartha" is the story of a young Brahmin's search for ultimate reality after meeting with the Buddha. His quest takes him from a life of decadence to asceticism, from the illusory joys of sensual love with a beautiful courtesan, and of wealth and fame, to the painful struggles with his son and the ultimate wisdom of renunciation.
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    Jane Austen
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    HarperCollins is proud to present its range of best-loved, essential classics. 'The real evils, indeed, of Emma's situation were the power of having rather too much her own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself...' Beautiful, rich, self-assured and witty, Emma Woodhouse delights in matchmaking those around her, with no apparent care for her own romantic life. Taking young Harriet Smith under her wing, Emma sets her sights on finding a suitable match for her friend. Chided for her mistakes by old friend Mr Knightley, it is only when Harriet starts to pursue her own love interests that Emma realises the true hidden depths of her own heart. Delightful, engaging and entertaining, and with a dazzling gallery of characters, Emma is arguably Austen's most well-loved social comedy.
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    'The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself'. Passionate, poetic and revolutionary, "Jane Eyre" is a novel of naked emotional power. Its story of a defiant, fiercely intelligent woman who refuses to accept her appointed place in society - and instead finds love on her own terms - has become famous as one of the greatest romances ever written, but it is also a brooding Gothic mystery, a profound depiction of character and a transformative work of the imagination. This is the Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
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    Widely considered one of the greatest American novels, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn tells the story of Huck Finn and his companion, the slave Jim, as they journey down the Mississippi river after running away from Huck's alcoholic father and Jim's owners.As they travel, they encounter a floating house, feuding families and cunning grifters, but more importantly Huck gets to know Jim and regard him as a friend and equal, overcoming the racial prejudices of the time, in a landmark narrative which poignantly addresses the issues of growing up and finding freedom.
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    A universal favorite, The Importance of Being Earnest displays Oscar Wilde's theatrical genius at its brilliant best. Subtitled "A Trivial Comedy for Serious People," this hilarious attack on Victorian manners and morals turns a pompous world on its head, lets duplicity lead to happiness, and makes riposte the highest form of art. Also included in this special collection are Wilde's first comedy success, Lady Windermere's Fan, and his richly sensual melodrama, Salome.
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    HarperCollins is proud to present its range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Is Mr. Heathcliff a man? If so, is he mad? And if not, is he a devil?' Set on the bleak moors of Yorkshire, Lockwood is forced to seek shelter at Wuthering Heights, the home of his new landlord, Heathcliff. The intense and wildly passionate Heathcliff tells the story of his life, his all-consuming love for Catherine Earnshaw and the doomed outcome of that relationship, leading to his revenge. Poetic, complex and grand in its scope, Emily Bronte's masterpiece is considered one of the most unique gothic novels of its time.
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    The eagerly awaited BBC TV adaptation of Tolstoy's enthralling epic. War and Peace is due to appear on our screens. This is the official tie-in edition with an exclusive introduction written by Andrew Davies. Tolstoy's beguiling masterpiece entwines love, death and determinism with Russia's war with Napoleon and its effects on those swept up by the terror it brings. The lives of Pierre, Prince Andrei and Natasha are changed forever as conflict rages throughout the early nineteenth century. Following the rise and fall of some of society's most influential families, this truthful and poignant epic is as relevant today as ever. This six part adaptation has been written by Bafta-winning author Andrew Davies and will be directed by Tom Harper (Peaky Blinders, The Scouting Book for Boys, Woman in Black: Angel of Death). Accompanied by a stellar cast including Paul Dano (12 years a Slave, Prisoners, There Will be Blood) as the idealistic Pierre, James Norton (Happy Valley, Belle, Grantchester) as the ambitious Prince Andrei and Lily James (Cinderella, Downton Abbey) as the impulsive beauty Natasha. It also features the legendary Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge, Harry Potter, Longford), Gillian Anderson (The Fall, The X-Files), Greta Scacchi (White Mischief, Presumed Innocent) and many more.
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    Mary Lennox was horrid. Selfish and spoilt, she was sent to stay with her hunchback uncle in Yorkshire. She hated it. But when she finds the way into a secret garden and begins to tend it, a change comes over her and her life. She meets and befriends a local boy, the talented Dickon, and comes across her sickly cousin Colin who had been kept hidden from her. Between them, the three children work astonishing magic in themselves and those around them. The Secret Garden is one of the best-loved stories of all time.
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    A timeless heroine, Alice is quick-witted, determined and resourceful. In her extraordinary adventures she meets a series of unforgettable characters, from the bossy White Rabbit to the grinning Cheshire-Cat and the Mad Hatter, all of whom are as famous as Alice herself. Gloriously illustrated with the original line drawings by John Tenniel, plates coloured by John Macfarlane, a ribbon marker and a foreword by Hilary McKay, this beautiful hardback edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which was first published by Macmillan in 1865, is a truly special gift to treasure.
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    HarperCollins is proud to present its range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Oh! Mama, how spiritless, how tame was Edward's manner in reading to us last night! I felt for my sister most severely. Yet she bore it with so much composure, she seemed scarcely to notice it. I could hardly keep my seat.' Spirited and impulsive, Marianne Dashwood is the complete opposite to her controlled and sensible sister, Elinor. When it comes to matters of the heart, Marianne is passionate and romantic and soon falls for the charming, but unreliable Mr Willoughby. Elinor, in contrast, copes stoically with the news that her love, Edward Ferrars is promised to another. It is through their shared experiences of love that both sisters come to learn that the key to a successful match comes from finding the perfect mixture of rationality and feeling.
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    Humbert Humbert is a middle-aged, fastidious college professor. He also likes little girls. And none more so than Lolita, who he'll do anything to possess. Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster? Or is he all of these?
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    'It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth'. Sherlock Holmes, scourge of criminals everywhere, whether they be lurking in London's foggy backstreets or plotting behind the walls of an idyllic country mansion, and his faithful colleague Dr Watson solve twelve breathtaking and perplexing mysteries. In "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", the first collection of the great consulting detective's cases, we encounter some of his most famous and devilishly difficult problems, including "A Scandal in Bohemia", "The Speckled Band", "The Red-Headed League", "The Blue Carbuncle", "The Five Orange Pips" and "The Man with the Twisted Lip".
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    Introduction and Notes by Dr Ella Westland, University of Exeter. Illustrations by George Cruickshank. Dickens had already achieved renown with The Pickwick Papers. With Oliver Twist his reputation was enhanced and strengthened. The novel contains many classic Dickensian themes - grinding poverty, desperation, fear, temptation and the eventual triumph of good in the face of great adversity. Oliver Twist features some of the author's most enduring characters, such as Oliver himself (who dares to ask for more), the tyrannical Bumble, the diabolical Fagin, the menacing Bill Sikes, Nancy and 'the Artful Dodger'. For any reader wishing to delve into the works of the great Victorian literary colossus, Oliver Twist is, without doubt, an essential title.
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    A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Dickens' greatest historical novel, traces the private lives of a group of people caught up in the cataclysm of the French Revolution and the Terror. Dickens based his historical detail on Carlyle's great work - The French Revolution. 'The best story I have written' was Dickens' own verdict on A Tale of Two Cities, and the reader is unlikely to disagree with this judgement of a story which combines historical fact with the author's unsurpassed genius for poignant tales of human suffering, self-sacrifice, and redemption.
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    HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Look! You want to see! See! Feast your eyes, glut your soul on my cursed ugliness! Look at Erik's face! Now you know the face of the voice!' Living secretly beneath the Paris Opera House, 'The Phantom of the Opera', Erik has haunted those who work there with his demands and shrouded the opera house in fear with the legend of his disfigured face. When Christine joins the company, a young woman with a beautiful voice, Erik is instantly smitten and secretly teaches her to become a great singer. He soon develops an obsessive love for his beautiful protege, even though she has fallen for her childhood friend, resulting in her disappearance during a performance and sparking a tragic and terrifying chain of events. One of the most well-known and well-loved gothic horror stories, Leroux's suspenseful tale of unrequited love, passion and tragedy is both dark and moving in its portrayal of Erik, the anti-hero in his yearning for Christine.
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    Translated by Constance Garnett, with an Introduction by A. D. P. Briggs. As Fyodor Karamazov awaits an amorous encounter, he is violently done to death. The three sons of the old debauchee are forced to confront their own guilt or complicity. Who will own to parricide? The reckless and passionate Dmitri? The corrosive intellectual Ivan? Surely not the chaste novice monk Alyosha? The search reveals the divisions which rack the brothers, yet paradoxically unite them. Around the writhings of this one dysfunctional family Dostoevsky weaves a dense network of social, psychological and philosophical relationships. At the same time he shows - from the opening 'scandal' scene in the monastery to a personal appearance by an eccentric Devil - that his dramatic skills have lost nothing of their edge. The Karamazov Brothers, completed a few months before Dostoevsky's death in 1881, remains for many the high point of his genius as novelist and chronicler of the modern malaise. It cast a long shadow over D. H. Lawrence, Thomas Mann, Albert Camus, and other giants of twentieth-century European literature.
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    In Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, Phileas Fogg bets his companions that he can travel across the world in just eighty days and the very next day sets out from the port of Dover with his servant Passeportout to achieve his aim. Passing through exotic lands and dangerous places, they seize whatever transportation is at hand - whether train or elephant - always racing against the clock. There are many alarms and surprises along the way - and a last minute setback that makes all the difference between winning and losing. Jules Verne's exciting adventure has been delighting generations of readers of all ages.